About Cornea Transplants
If you have corneal disease or trauma, the team at Chu Vision Institute in Bloomington, MN can offer help to improve your eye health with a corneal transplant. This ocular surgery involves precisely excising the damaged corneal tissue, followed by replacing it with a healthy donor sample. Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Ralph Chu can offer a full- or partial-thickness corneal transplant, depending on the stage of your condition. To conduct the most effective transplant procedures that produce ideal outcomes, Dr. Chu and his staff use some of the most advanced surgical technologies and cutting-edge techniques. We offer the following cornea transplant methods:
- Partial-thickness corneal transplant (DSEK):
Descemet's stripping endothelial keratoplasty, or DSEK, is a type of partial-thickness corneal transplant in which damaged endothelial cells are removed and replaced with a healthy donor sample. DSEK uses a much thinner layer of tissue and generally has a shorter recovery time than full-thickness transplant surgery.
- Full-thickness corneal transplant (PK):
For more severely damaged corneas, a full-thickness transplant (penetrating keratoplasty, or PK) can be performed to eliminate the damaged tissue and exchange it with high-quality donor tissue. Dr. Chu will remove a circular portion from the entire thickness of the diseased cornea before positioning a healthy donor cornea in its place.
"Bare with my lengthy review but if you’re like me, I wanted to know what others true thoughts were and I scoured as many reviews as possible to make sure I was making the best decision for me and my eyes. I am SO, SO thankful for Dr. Chu and Dr. Heckman’s expertise and honesty. I decided it was time to get Lasik and went in for my consultation. From check-in to my latest follow up, everyone at the Chu Vision Institute was friendly, warm, and helpful. Due to some past corneal scarring, Dr. Chu recommended that I get Lasik on one eye and PRK (ASA) on the other. I was extremely nervous about PRK because of the slightly longer recovery time and I really just wanted to wake up and have 20/20 vision like my friends who have had Lasik. The day of my procedure, they made sure I had all my questions and concerns answered before they let me in to have my surgery. That was extremely comforting to me and Dr. Heckman explained why PRK was recommended over Lasik. Simply put, I wouldn’t have had a good outcome if Dr. Chu had performed Lasik on both eyes. Both procedures went well and Dr. Chu confirmed his right decision during the procedure which took all of maybe 10 minutes for both eyes. As instructed, I went home and rested and could literally see 20/20 the next day with my Lasik eye. The PRK eye takes a little longer to heal but can already see better! (I was worried my blurry eye would affect my vision, but it did not). Recovery has been great and will continue to get better in the next few weeks. Now my husband wants to get his eyes done. Chu Vision Institute has exceeded my expectations and I am very happy with my results!"- E.M. / Google / Oct 20, 2020
"I had cataracts removed from both eyes. Dr. Chu and his staff were wonderful to work with. From the exam to the surgical procedure and recovery, everyone was very professional and pleasant . I had a perfect outcome and would highly recommend the Chu vision Clinic."- B.S. / Google / Oct 02, 2020
"I’ve been going to Chu vision for about three years now and and I’ve had excellent service each and every time. They follow me yearly for my dry eye condition. They are extremely thorough and take the time to answer all my questions. Highly recommend them."- C.S. / Google / Jul 31, 2020
"Exceptional. I felt like family as soon as I walked through the front door. Staff was extremely knowledgeable and friendly and my LASIK procedure went flawlessly. Like most folks, I did extensive research for months before my consult (word of mouth and online) I highly recommend Chu Vision for your procedure."- C.M. / Google / Mar 19, 2020
"I want to thank everyone at Chu Vision for the remarkable care we received recently. The clinic has an immaculate protocol to prevent Covid exposure for all of its patients. One might think that all the masks would prevent a warm, caring environment but not at Chu Vision! To a person, everyone was warm and welcoming. Dr. Chu was terrific and extremely thorough. The clinic was able to assess my husband’s acute vision change using a remarkable variety of tests and tools. What would have taken weeks at another clinic took only hours at Chu Vision. We won’t ever go anywhere else. Thank you so very much!"- K.D. / Yelp / Jul 13, 2020
Best Candidates for Cornea Transplant
You may be considered for a cornea transplant if you have any of these symptoms:
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- Corneal scarring
- A buildup of fluid within the cornea
For patients who have Fuchs' dystrophy or keratoconus, a partial- or full-thickness corneal transplant may be the best course of treatment. Dr. Chu will perform a full eye exam and review your symptoms and health history to determine whether you are a good candidate. If so, a customized treatment plan will be created to address your specific needs.
How Cornea Transplant Is Performed
Both full- and partial-thickness cornea transplants are done as outpatient procedures that last about 45 minutes to an hour. First, we will give you a mild form of anesthesia and numbing eye drops. Based on which type of corneal transplant you are having, Dr. Chu will make a tiny incision to remove either the full thickness of the cornea or just the inner (endothelial) portion, and it will be replaced with a healthy sample. For patients having a penetrating keratoplasty (full-thickness transplant), the donor tissue will be sutured into your eye. For partial-thickness transplants, stitches are typically not necessary since the incision tends to heal on its own. However, after the donor sample has been positioned into place, a gas bubble will likely be used to secure it into place.
What to Expect After a Cornea Transplant
After your cornea transplant, our staff will provide you with thorough follow-up instructions so you can recover and heal properly. The recovery process can seem long, but the good news is that cornea transplants are known for their exceedingly high success rates. Some patients experience irritation, discomfort, and watery eyes over the following few days or weeks. You can expect to begin seeing improved vision within 1 – 3 months, and your vision will continue to repair itself over the next 6 – 24 months. Since cornea transplant is not a refractive vision correction procedure, eyeglasses or contacts may still be needed to attain your clearest vision. It is important that you attend needed follow-up visits at Chu Vision Institute so Dr. Chu can monitor your healing.
Discover Your Choices
Cornea transplant surgery is a specialized procedure that can be customized to fit your specific eye health needs. At Chu Vision Institute, our team utilizes leading-edge technology to carry out precise methods for treating diseased or injured corneas, including DSEK and PK. If you have noticed blurry or worsening vision, we encourage you to contact us in Bloomington, MN to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chu and find out your options to obtain improved eyesight.